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Five-year high in pothole damage compensation

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Compensation for vehicles damaged by potholes on England’s motorways and major A-roads has reached a five-year high.

The number of claims in 2017-2018 were more than double that of the previous 12 months, with 1,089 made compared to 542.

More than £209.3 million was spent on maintenance in 2017-18, the lowest amount for at least five years and down 25% on 2015-16 spending.

Highways England, which is owned by the government, released the figures in a freedom of information request.

The average payout for compensations claims related to vehicles damaged by roads or potholes was £311 in 2017-2018.

Common problems included damage to shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels.

A Highways England spokeswoman said “safety is our top priority”.

“We set stringent standards for pothole repairs on our roads, and also regularly inspect our roads to help reduce the potential for potholes to form,” she added.

The spokeswoman said more than 3,000 miles of road has been resurfaced since April 2015.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “These numbers show that potholes and the damage they cause are not confined to local roads but afflict our most important and, overall, best funded routes too.”

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